It is now a few days after my uncle’s funeral in Toronto and after all the travel, emotion and general stress it’s a good time to reflect.
My uncle moved to Canada with his then wife in the 1950s, some years after travelling across the country with the Royal Navy to join his just-built minesweeper in Vancouver towards the end of the Second World War. He later visited (and loved) Australia too, but Canada won the coin-toss when deciding where to emigrate to.
The family grew to five, with the birth of 3 children. Sadly, the youngest was killed in a motorcycle accident in the 1980s. My uncle’s eldest child travelled from Canada on her own to be bridesmaid at my parents’ wedding in Pontefract in 1968 and he was my Godfather.
In 2014, we were able to arrange a memorial event for my father, which coincided with my uncle’s penultimate visit to the UK. We were delighted that he could join us; he and his sister shared some wonderful stories of their childhood. I’m sorry now that I couldn’t join him and his family for his 90th birthday party but feel that I made up for this, in a small way, by attending his funeral.